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Semin Hematol. 2003 Jul;40(3):257-66.

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells: from the plasmacytoid T-cell to type 2 dendritic cells CD4+CD56+ malignancies.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Immunologie du CHU, Nancy, France.


Recent identification of CD4(+)CD56(+) malignancies as pathological counterparts of the precursors of type 2 dendritic cells (DC2) has shed new light on a leukocyte lineage that long remained elusive. This review retraces how knowledge evolved, through careful examination and analysis of both normal lymphoid tissue and rare proliferative diseases, from plasmacytoid T cells to plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) and then DC2. The functions of these cells and their key role at the crossroads of innate and cognitive immunity are also discussed. The major characteristics of DC2 malignancies are summarized and compared to natural killer cell (NK) lymphomas, another type of proliferative disease sharing the expression of CD56.

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